Voting begins in Chile`s presidential election
Santiago: Chileans went to the polls on Sunday to choose a new president from nine candidates, with Socialist Michelle Bachelet and her reform platform favoured to win.
The popular Bachelet holds a commanding lead, with opinion polls showing the ex-president close to the 50 per cent needed to win in the first round of balloting.
Voting booths opened across the country at 8:00 am (1100 GMT), Chile`s Electoral Service reported.
In one novelty, for the first time since democracy was restored in 1990 after a military dictatorship, voting is no longer compulsory.
Outgoing President Sebastian Pinera, who cannot run for re-election and took over when Bachelet`s first term ended in 2010, earlier made a fervent call for a strong turnout.
Pinera, the first conservative elected president since 1990, is deeply unpopular in part due to his refusal to overhaul the country`s public education system despite years of massive rallies demanding change.
More than 13 million of the country`s 16.5 million inhabitants are registered to vote.
Soldiers are guarding the polling stations, which are scheduled to close at 6:00 pm (2100 GMT).
Voters will also elect 120 members of the chamber of deputies, 20 senators, and local and regional officials.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- China condemns Pakistan over Uri terror attack
- Indian- Americans launch online petition to declare Pakistan 'sponsor of terrorism'
- DNA: Analysis over who is responsible for tense condition of Kashmir after Burhan Wani's death?
- Should Pakistani artists be restricted from working in India?
- Congress workers thrash students for showing black flags to Rahul Gandhi in Raebareli
- Onam Bumper Lottery/Kerala Thiruvonam Bumper-2016 BR-51 draw result declared - Here is the winning ticket number
- Uri attack: Israel ready to help India with cutting-edge technology to secure borders
- India's Rafale vs Pakistan's F-16: Why the French fighter jet is the best choice for dogfight
- MNS ultimatum to Pakistani actors: Leave India in 48-hour deadline
- All you need to know about Reliance JioFi at Rs 1,999 – use free data till December 31